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BBQ Chicken Pizza

Oozing with two kinds of cheese, and loaded with chicken, smoky BBQ sauce and caramelized onions, this BBQ chicken pizza recipe has it all.


BBQ. chicken pizza shown with a slice out of it.

Turns Out It’s Still Pretty Awesome: BBQ Chicken Pizza

Remember the 90s and how when a California Pizza Kitchen opened in your city (or somewhere close by) everyone you knew sort of freaked out and immediately ordered their infamous BBQ chicken pizza? And then it was so good they kept on doing it? Everywhere you went—movie night at a friends house, or a Saturday afternoon birthday party—one of those iconic BBQ chicken pizzas would be featured prominently in the middle of the table. Well, we do! And you know what? It’s a weirdly delicious pizza that we still love to this day—a little sweet, a little savory, smoky, cheesy and totally worth the hype. Now that we’ve created a super easy BBQ chicken pizza recipe that replicates (and, we think, improves upon) the original, we can indulge in this old-school treat anytime we want. And so can you!

Ingredients for BBQ chicken pizza shown in small bowls including red onions, cilantro, chicken, cheese, bbq sauce and dough.

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The 5 Key BBQ Chicken Pizza Ingredients

If you’ve ever looked up BBQ chicken pizza recipes before—and you’re here, so it seems likely that you have—you’ll notice that basically all recipes call for the same BBQ chicken pizza toppings! Why? Because pretty much everyone is making their version of that aforementioned CPK BBQ chicken pizza that’s stuck in our memory from childhood. The toppings are pretty straightforward, and mostly you can use store-bought stuff! That means this pizza recipe can’t be easier and that it comes together fast. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it:

  • Pizza dough! We’ve shared this tip before but it’s so good it’s worth mentioning again! While we’re totally in favor of making your own pizza dough if that’s fun for you, most pizza places will just sell you a ball of dough. It’s usually about $3-$4 and it’ll be fresh and delicious and almost NO work. Plus you can grab a slice when you pick up the dough (always a bonus).

  • Cheese! For this pizza, you’ll want two cheeses. Mozzarella, for that classic, melty goodness that pizza must have. And secondly, smoked gouda! Yeah, curve-ball! You want that smoky richness to stand up to the bold flavors of the BBQ sauce and caramelized onions. You could also use pepper Jack, if you’d like to lean into the spicy flavors of this BBQ chicken pizza.

  • Chicken! Our perfect poached chicken would be ideal, or any leftover chicken you have handy will work fine.

  • BBQ sauce! Store-bought is fine, or you could make our Homemade BBQ sauce. Sweet, tangy and a little sticky, it’d be just right.

  • Caramelized red onions. This is our TMP upgrade to the classic BBQ chicken pizza toppings line up! Most BBQ chicken pizza recipes call for fresh red onions, but we step things up just a bit by taking the time to caramelize the red onions. Yes, it takes a while. Yes, it’s totally worth it!

Pizza dough shown on a stone with bbq sauce spread on it.
Pizza sauce spread on pizza dough with bbq sauce and grated cheese.
pizza dough topped with grated cheese, bbq sauce and shredded chicken.
pizza dough topped with bbq sauce, cheese, chicken and caramelized onions.

How to Make BBQ Chicken Pizza

With so many ingredients coming straight from the store, our BBQ chicken pizza recipe really couldn’t be easier. It’s a weeknight friendly recipe, especially if you make the caramelized red onions ahead of time (which we highly recommend). Here’s how to make a super delicious homemade BBQ chicken pizza:

  1. Caramelize the red onions. Yes, this will take about 60 minutes. But it doesn’t require a ton of attention or effort, so you can multitask, or do this ahead of time.

  2. Heat oven to 450°F.

  3. Stretch out the pizza dough and lay it on a pizza stone or onto a lightly-oiled baking sheet.

  4. Top the pizza! BBQ sauce takes the place of tomato sauce in this BBQ chicken pizza, so start there.

  5. Up next, cheese!

  6. Now chicken! Mix the cooked chicken with some BBQ sauce and spread it all over the pizza.

  7. More cheese! Finish the pizza with caramelized red onions and more cheese!

  8. Bake! 450°F for about 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and dig in!

BBQ Chicken pizza topped with red onions and fresh cilantro

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close up photo of bbq chicken pizza topped with fresh cilantro and red onions.

Make Everyone’s Weeknight Dinner Dreams Come True and Make a BBQ Chicken Pizza!

Try our homemade BBQ chicken pizza recipe, and let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  1 hr 15 min
  • Calories: 852


  • 1 (1lb) raw pizza dough recipe, store bought or homemade
  • 1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, store bought or homemade
  • 1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese or pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for topping


  1. If using refrigerated pizza dough bought at the store, sit it out on the counter to get to room temperature while making the caramelized red onions.
  2. In a medium non-stick skillet set over medium heat, heat the olive oil. When the oil is glistening, add the red onions and cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat to medium-low if the being to brown to quickly. This will take between 45-60 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 450°F.
  4. Prepare the pizza dough by rolling or stretching it out on a lightly floured surface, should be about 10-12 inches. Place it on a lightly floured pizza stone or onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  5. Using your fingers, dent the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Spread 1/3 cup BBQ on the top the dough and spread it out evenly, taking care to leave 1 inch of space around the edge for the crust.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheese onto the bbq sauce. In a medium bowl, toss the cooked chicken with the remaining BBQ sauce, then scatter it all around the pizza. Add the caramelized red onions and remaining cheese cheeses.
  7. Bake until the center is cooked and browned on the bottom, about 12-15 minutes. Top with cilantro and serve.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Serving: 4 Calories: 852kcal, Carbohydrates: 62.3g, Protein: 32.6g, Fat: 52.5g, Saturated Fat: 17.5g, Cholesterol: 76mg, Sodium: 1323mg, Fiber: 4.4g, Sugar: 9.6g

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories852
  • Protein32 g
  • Carbohydrates62 g
  • Total Fat52 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol76 mg
  • sodium1323 mg
  • Total Sugars9 g

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jenn

    This was fabulous.

    Thank you Jenn, we are so glad you loved it!